Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, who won a national championship for the Crimson Tide in 2009, showed a good arm on the first day of Senior Bowl workouts. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty)
Alabama QB Greg McElroy
Crimson Tide quarterbacks certainly haven't made much of an impact lately in the NFL, regardless of the success enjoyed by Brodie Croyle and John Parker Wilson during their tenures in Tuscaloosa, but McElroy may be the one to make the transition from Saturday to Sunday. Not that he's going to be a Super Bowl champ like fellow Alabama alumni Joe Namath or Ken Stabler any time soon, but he put a quality arm on display Monday and seems to have the early lead on his fellow South QBs, TCU's Andy Dalton and Florida State's Christian Ponder. He's already proven to be a winner, as he did a lot more in capturing the 2009 BCS National Championship than hand the ball off to Heisman Trophy recipient Mark Ingram.
East Carolina WR Dwayne Harris
It's not easy to stand out at the wide receiver position in the first practice of a college all-star game, as they're usually working with quarterbacks they've never seen before, but Harris did put together a notable performance and drew the attention of a Seahawks scout when it was all said and done. He proved to be productive in Conference USA, catching 101 passes for 1,123 yards and 10 touchdowns this past season for the Pirates, following up an equally impressive 83-catch, 978-yard, 7-TD performance the year before. Built in the mold of Dolphins wideout Davone Bess, Harris is tough in the hash-mark area and may be a fine fit in the slot for some team.
Michigan State LB Greg Jones
Jones showed his sideline-to-sideline prowess in 7-on-7 passing drills, looking like he belonged in the middle of a 4-3 scheme at the next level. He was even more menacing when attacking the line of scrimmage, shedding blocks and making his way to the ball carrier with relative ease, and he also has a wide array of pass-rush moves when he comes on a blitz. Expect Jones to take control of the huddle in Saturday's game and put his leadership on display, as he was a team captain for the Spartans and has a reputation for being the hardest worker on the field day after day.
San Diego State WR Vincent Brown
As mentioned above, wide receiver may be the toughest position to get noticed in an environment like a Senior Bowl practice since the quarterbacks are oftentimes learning a pro-style offense for the first time and there is no sense of timing yet with their targets. All that aside, Brown had opportunities to make some plays Monday, especially in 7-on-7s, but he was all thumbs and let several catchable balls fall to the Ladd Peebles Stadium turf. In those all-important 50-50 situations, when Brown needed to fight off a covering defender in order to make the catch, more often than not he trotted back to the huddle empty-handed.
Stanford FB/LB Owen Marecic
Playing both offense and defense during his time in Palo Alto, if Day 1 in Mobile is any indicator, Marecic would be wise to stick to fullback and cast aside any aspirations he may have of becoming a linebacker at the game's highest level. Marecic is comfortable barking signals to his teammates and consistently mixed it up with the big boys when defending the run, but it was in coverage when he simply didn't have the skills to compete. He looked lost in space, and if that's the case against the best of what college football's senior class has to offer, imagine what it'll be like trying to hang with NFL running backs and tight ends.
Florida C Michael Pouncey
Expected to be a first-round pick since he's considered the best center prospect on the board, Pouncey has a lot to live up to in 2011 because his twin brother, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, was a smashing success as a rookie in 2010. However, Pouncey didn't bother to make the trip to Mobile after pulling out at the last minute, and game officials had no legitimate explanation why as of Monday evening. One member of the media on hand with intimate knowledge of the Gainesville program indicated Pouncey has not mastered the art of snapping the ball to an under-center quarterback, as he spent the entirety of his senior campaign firing shotgun snaps to UF's three-headed QB monster of John Brantley, Trey Burton and Jordan Reed.
|John Crist is an NFL Analyst for Scout.com, a voter for the Heisman Trophy and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America.|